Lifespan of a Wasp: How Long Do Wasps Live?

By Bridget Ambrose

Wasps are one of the summer’s biggest problems. Their painful sting can leave you hurting for days, and their presence will make your yard an unsafe place to stay!

These pests primarily stick around during the summer months for what seems like ages, but the lifespan of a wasp is surprisingly short!

Keep reading about a wasp’s life cycle and how long they live! Plus, don’t forget that proof. has your back whenever wasps invade your yard from spring to fall!

Wasp Caste System

A wasp’s life primarily depends on its role in the colony. Some members live significantly longer than others, which can make a difference in colony longevity. 

Each colony has three separate adult members: the queen, workers, and reproductive members. 

Following the mating season, queen wasps search for places to build a new hive. After spotting an optimal location, the queen wasps will either hibernate in place or search for nearby shelters to keep them safe from the upcoming winter. 

Once spring comes around, queens will begin building the foundation of their hive, either underground, in trees, on the side of homes, or under porches. After her eggs hatch and develop, the new workers will spend the rest of their lives building the nest.

Queen waps rule the roost despite spending much of their lives immobile in the hive, giving birth to dozens to hundreds of eggs per day. These eggs develop in larvae, pupae, and then full-grown adults.

Workers make up a large portion of the hive. While their lives are short, they contribute the most to the day-to-day operations, from foraging for food, building and repairing the nest, and feeding the queen and young. 

All of the wasps you see out in the wild are worker wasps. These pests congregate around flowers, bushes, and other foliage, searching for food and indulging in pollen and nectar. 

Other hive members include reproductive colony members, but they’re seldom outside of the colony until the mating season rolls around. The unmated queens will find a male drone in the area and reproduce with the insect. 

Male drones won’t survive long after mating. Their primary purpose is to mate with a queen and help produce a new generation of wasps. 

The Lifespan of a Wasp

A wasp’s caste position ultimately determines how long it’ll live. Important colony members like queens will always stick around longer than workers or drone wasps.

While there are variations between wasp species, worker wasps typically only live for a few weeks at a time. Some may only live as long as two weeks, while others may stay alive for a month!

Despite their short lifespans, these wasps can get a lot of work completed as a group. Plus, the queen constantly lays new eggs daily, resupplying the ever-dwindling population of worker wasps. 

Male drones survive slightly longer when living in the hive and being taken care of by the workers. However, once they exit their nest to breed, they won’t live more than that. Following mating, male drones swiftly die, leaving the queen to raise her young alone. 

Queen wasps survive the longest out of everyone in their hive. While these queens don’t live as long as other insect queens, they can stick around much longer than their children. 

Some ants and spiders will live multiple years. The longest-reported queen ant in captivity persisted up to 28 years old! That’s much longer than many other insect species can survive, even in a controlled environment.

However, queen wasps aren’t as lucky. In typical conditions, the lifespan of a wasp is only a few months to a year. Weather, pest control efforts, and predators may significantly shorten their lives. 

In warmer climates, these queens can sometimes live longer than 12 months, especially if they have workers nearby to take care of them. But once her reproductive stores run out, she’ll be left alone and perish in the hive. 

Thankfully for us, their lifespans aren’t long, and last year’s generation of wasps won’t come back to attack year in the new year. However, you will still have to contend with new colonies popping up whenever the weather warms in the spring. 

Wasp Elimination Methods

The lifespan of a wasp isn’t long, but it can do a lot of damage in a year!

Wasps regularly prey on nearby bee hives, killing the smaller stinging insects to bring back to their developing larvae. While the adult wasps won’t consume the meat, they still must provide this nourishment to their young colony members. 

Don’t forget about their stinging power, either! When food sources like flowers, fruit, and other foliage wilts in the chilly fall temperatures, wasps will have less to eat than during the height of summer. 

Many homeowners notice wasps flocking around areas in their yards, looking for their next meal. Wasps become highly aggressive about their hives during these months and will turn to you, your trash, and outdoor meals for their nutrition. 

But what should you do to eliminate the wasps on your property? Besides cleaning up food and securing your garbage can, you can contact a reputable pest control agency to take care of the problem for you!

proof. Pest Control’s wasp elimination services can tackle any hives built on your property without putting you in any danger! While the lifespan of a wasp is relatively short, our top treatments will still swiftly get rid of these troublesome pests to keep you safe.

Give us a call whenever you have wasps overstaying their welcome! Our trained technicians will be glad to lend a hand!

Call proof. pest control at 888-291-5333, or send us a message online.

Categories